Recently Sony Computer Entertainment software engineer Anton Mikhailov spoke with Videogamer about the company's new motion sensing device for the PlayStation 3, Move. As expected, he pointed out the flaws in Microsoft's Kinect for the Xbox 360, saying that its technological problems are "quite big."
"I think the tech is a bit, not so much immature, but not quite up to spec in what we think," he admitted in the interview. "Like the PlayStation Eye camera runs at 60 frames per second so it can track you very quickly whereas the Kinect and other depth camera are only 30 frames per second. So they are more suited for slower motions. Dancing is still kind of okay and then the yoga stuff that they were doing, it fits that very well, whereas if you want to do quick punches it's harder to do that just because you can't see the player as quickly. And there's also more latency, things like that. So you know, it's not a particularly sexy result, it's just mostly technological problems."
So what kind of problems does Kinect have? After all, the device is selling like hotcakes, flying off the shelves compared to Move's slower... movement into consumer homes. Gamers and non-gamers alike obviously seem to think Kinect is the better product based on sales figures alone.
"The fact that it runs at 30 frames per second instead of 60, that's a common problem with all those cameras," he said. "It's actually hard to fix because you have a lot of data to transport. Sort of working with that image is expensive computationally-wise. I think they quoted something like 10-15 per cent of the Xbox resources, plus like 50 megs of memory or something like that. The Move takes less than 1-percent, and like 1 megabyte. So, you know, that's just a bunch of numbers but to developers that means like Killzone 3 can just put in Move and not have to worry about it, whereas something like Kinect you have to make significant game changes to actually fit that into your game. So that's a big plus for Move I think 'cause a lot of people can just try it out and put it in."
He goes on to talk about problems with the cameras themselves, saying that the resolutions are too low and that certain types of material can cause problems (jeans, leather, glass etc). But eventually he gives the expected props to PlayStation Move, saying that it can achieve much of what Kinect can offer.
"Kinect can sense the distance to an object whereas the [PlayStation] Eye has to do that through - Kinect kind of gets that for free, that's part of its output, whereas with the Eye we have to do vision algorithms to get that," he said. "So something like Kung Fu Live, so that does background subtraction, so Kinect again gets that for free whereas with the Eye we have to do some algorithms. It's always more robust when you get it in the hardware but the reality is we can still do a lot of these features with just the Eye and if the users are happy with both then we're equivalent in that sense."
To read the full interview, head here. Have you purchased both Kinect and Move? Which is the better device?